Interview with Layla Reyne, Author of Single Malt

Layla Reyne talks with us about her Romanic Suspense Series that begins with the recent launch of Single Malt.

Please describe what your book is about.

Aidan Talley, a recently widowed FBI field agent, is newly partnered with handsome, younger Cyber agent, Jameson Walker, to investigate a series of hacks at a biocontainment facility. They must race against the clock to stop the hacks and a deadly terrorist attack. Along the way, they learn all isn’t what it seems—with the case, their partnership, and the deaths of Aidan’s late husband and his former partner.

Share a teaser sentence or two from your novel.

Jamie glanced down at the sparkling clovers in his hand, then back up at his partner, whose autumn eyes hid nothing now. Fear, resolve, desire, and something more Jamie didn’t want to put a word to for all the complications those four letters could bring.

What do you want people to know about your book?

I love suspense with a heavy dose of unresolved sexual tension that leads to romance. Translation: Prepare for plot-heavy romance, with action and things that go boom, kissing and sexy times, and some cliffhangers too. That’s the structure I learned, the one I love, so fair warning!

What did you learn about yourself while writing this novel?

Iced coffee and cronuts are the keys to late night writing and editing success.

What was your timeline from drafting to publication?

Single Malt drafting kicked into high gear in November 2015, while I queried a different manuscript. I got my wonderful agent with that manuscript, sent her Single Malt in April 2016, and we quickly moved it to the front-burner, pitching and selling it in short order. And now Single Malt is published in February 2017, Cask Strength (AIW2) is done and will be published in May 2017, and we’re editing Barrel Proof (AIW3) for release later this summer.

What is your favorite part of writing (drafting characters, making up scenes, plotting, developing emotional turning points, etc). Why?

Plotting and dialogue. I’m a total plotter; I have to get the story structure down first. And I do that with dialogue, writing it first for the opening scene, closing scene, sex scene(s), dark moment and climax. Then I go back and fill in the rest.

Briefly, where did the idea for your book come from?

Decades of romance-laced cop shows (The X-Files, Castle, etc.) + a decade living in the hyper-tech rat-race that is Silicon Valley.

When do you do your best thinking about your work in progress?

In the car. It’s my one regret about working from home now. I love not commuting, but I miss my best story planning time.

Share something people may be surprised to know about you?

I love fast cars, as is evidenced in my stories, and vintage muscle cars are my weakness. Too bad I didn’t appreciate them in my youth, passing up a 1964½ cherry red Mustang convertible when I was a preteen and didn’t know any better. Top five life regret.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten?

Do at least one round of edits backward—from the last chapter to the first. That way your eyes and brain aren’t tired when you’re polishing those crucial last chapters.

What’s next?

All three books in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series – Single Malt, Cask Strength, and Barrel Proof – will be released this year. I’m also developing ideas for AIW spin-offs and writing a male/male contemporary sports romance.

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